Saturday, August 2, 2008

How does one cope with the death of your young child


SIDE #1......

The phone rings...."Hello, is that Mrs. Brown - This is the headmaster of your daughter's School".

There is a pause and Mrs. Brown wonders what her daughter did to justify the headmaster phoning her. Before she could ask what the problem is, she hears his voice again. This time the words sound grave....

"There has been an accident - your daughter fell under the School Bus"….. “No Ma'am, I am sorry, she is not alright. You see, the bus ran over her head, and she died at the scene of the accident. She only lived for a few minutes after it happened, so she did not suffer long..."

The voice came from another dimension - Mrs Brown thought that it was someone speaking to her in a dream - NO, A NIGHTMARE!! This cannot be true! How can her beautiful little girl be dead, after all she is only 10 years old!! Soon she will wake up from the nightmare and be relieved when she hears the girl's voice calling her to wake up. She must have overslept!!

Then the cold, hard truth hits her - this is the here and now. This is no nightmare! She is still holding the phone to her ear and hears the voice at the other end of the line, but she is unaware of the words being spoken. She is in a trance...nothing registers any more.

Some time later she realizes that there are people in the room with her. She has no idea where they all came from and what they are doing there. Why is her husband home and sitting next to her, holding her and crying!! He should be at work! They keep talking about being strong and that they will get through it. What are they talking about and what did they give her to drink with that hot scalding tea. She doesn't want any medication - there is nothing wrong with her. What are they all doing here in her home!! She wants them to leave! It is time to meet her daughter at the bus stop. She always meets her there because she is afraid of what could happen to her if she walks home alone. On the bus she is safe, but one can never be too careful when they walk home after being dropped off.

Then a bomb explodes in her head - she can't meet her daughter at the bus stop..... her daughter is dead. That is what the headmaster told her. She must find out what happened. She will find out who is responsible and make sure that they are punished. How can anyone be so careless to let an accident like that happen. That person deserves the worst punishment possible. They killed her little girl!! They deserve to die too. She will make sure that they get what they deserve...........


SIDE #2....

It is a very cold, rainy day and he thinks of his wife and 4 children at home. He doesn't know how he is going to make ends meet this month. All the prices have sky-rocketed - food, clothing, medicine- and his youngest suffers from chronic bronchitis, fuel for the School bus he owns - the list goes on and on. While he is waiting for the kids to board the School bus his mind is racing. What happens if he takes just a couple of extra kids on the School bus every day. That should help a bit. After all they are all small and their weight surely won't make such a big difference. Maybe he can drive a little slower than usual to make sure he can manage the extra load, but that would make him late at the different stops, and some of these children need to catch a second bus so they cannot afford to be late. No... he will just be extra careful!

He allows as many children to board as he can possibly fit into the bus. The last little girl is standing in the foot well of the steps by the door, but she should be alright. She can hold on to something on the side of the bus. There is no strap to hold on to, but she should find a place to grab onto. The bus is struggling with the extra heavy load, but he accelerates to give it those extra revs to get the speed up. Suddenly, with an unexpected jerk, the bus lunges forward and he hits a lever with his arm - this lever opens the door of the bus!!

Then he sees it!! The little girl who was standing closest to the door was flung through the open door and before he could bring the overloaded bus to a screeching halt, he heard a thud. Please! don't let it be that little girl. She can break something if she is pushed against the wheel. As soon as the bus stopped the kids all scurried out and immediately there were screams of shock and distress. There was chaos all around and the driver had to fight his way through the gasping children.... then he sees her. She was lying under the bus, her head covered in blood. He could only stand aghast with shock and disbelief. How did this happen!! She must have rolled under the bus and he hit her!! Suddenly he came to his senses and asked some bystanders to phone for an ambulance, but he was told that the ambulance was already on its were the police!

Why did the police take him to the police station. After all, it was an accident. He was not responsible for the sudden lunge that caused his arm to hit the lever and subsequently fling this little girl out of the bus and to her death under the wheel.

No!! He IS responsible!! He KNOWS he is responsible!!
He should not have allowed so many kids on the bus, but it was cold and they would have got wet if he left them. What is more, he needed the extra money for his own family. However, whatever excuses he thought of and no matter how hard he tried to justify his action, he had to admit - he was solely responsible for the death of an innocent, defenseless child. A child whose life had been entrusted to him.

A child who still had her whole life ahead of her. Never again would she run in the sunshine, chasing butterflies and laughing. Never again would she look at the birds and listen to the rain against the window. She would never breath again!! She is dead and he is responsible. He took her life - he cannot find any legitimate excuse for what he did, no matter how hard he tried. He will have to live with this for the rest of his life!! He will never be able to forget that blood covered head and lifeless little body. They told him that she was still alive for a while...did she suffer or was she unaware of what was happening. Was she unaware that the life was leaving her defenseless little body while she was lying in a pool of blood - her own blood - on the cold, hard road.

He had the lives of all these young children in his hands. He was so blinded by his own problems that he did not give a second thought to the fact that the parents had trusted him to keep their children safe. Not only did he cause the death of this girl, but how many of those innocent little kids who saw her lying there, dying, were traumatized and will remember that horrific scene for the rest of their lives. How many are having nightmares about it in the fear that it can happen to them too. Will they ever trust a bus driver enough to board a bus again. He knows that he will never be trusted again. Even if by some miracle he is not punished by law, he will carry his punishment around with him for the rest of his life... the sight of a 10 year old girl dying because he thought he needed those extra few bucks. That is a worse punishment than anything that the courts could even think of!!

Is there a third side to the coin.....

1st Case Scenario -

  • The driver is punished to the full extent of the law for what he did - after all, he is guilty of negligence - he is guilty of manslaughter and punished accordingly.

FACT: He is not the only one being punished - his wife and 4 children are punished with him.

FACT: The 10 year old girl will still remain dead - no measure of punishment will bring her back. Does this REALLY make her loved ones feel any better? Does it REALLY ease the pain of loosing her?

2nd Case Scenario -

  • Besides the driver being punished by law for his actions, there is still the punishment he is dishing out to himself. The punishment his conscience is inflicting upon him. He may get a prison sentence of xx number of years, but the memory of what happened and what he did, will remain with him for the rest of his life. This self-punishment is a life sentence.

FACT: He is still punishing his family together with himself. His family life can never be the same again, living with the guilt for the rest of his life.

FACT: That little girl will still be dead. No amount of self-punishment will bring her back. Nothing will ease his pain, or that of her family!

Who really wins - nobody!!

All this because of one irresponsible decision!!

Here are a few quotes that are very true of life in general, not only in this situation.


  • It's in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.

- Anthony Robbins

  • More than anything else, I believe it's our decisions, not the conditions of our lives that determine our destiny.

- Anthony Robbins

  • Before every minute of action, there should be an hour of thought.

- Henry Ford


  • An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

—Attributed to Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

  • Revenge has no more quenching effect on emotions than salt water has on thirst.

—Walter Weckler

  • If revenge is sweet, why does it leave such a bitter taste?

—E. C. McKenzie

There is a very important lesson to be learned from this tragedy.....

Be responsible in all your actions - think it through.... don't making a rash and "on the spur of the moment" decisions - especially when it concerns the lives of others!!

So many lives were effected by this one irresponsible decision!